“Exuberance” is one of the many “e”-words that aptly describe Art Basel Miami Beach, both the fair itself and the larger, enveloping phenomenon that encompasses a constellation of satellite fairs, a festival’s worth of live music performances (see the Art Basel Music Guide), endless exhibitions at galleries, museums, and private collections, and, of course, a panoply of parties, shindigs, and soirées. Indeed, “enveloping”, “encompassing”, “endless”, and “exhibitionist” are also apt “e”s, as are “extravagant”, “elephantine”, and, ultimately, “exhausting”.
Getting back to “exuberance”. Don and Mera Rubell, whose private contemporary art collection, housed in a former DEA-facility in Wynwood, is one of the biggest in the world, say the word jumped to mind when they were thinking up a title for their mega-exhibition, American Exuberance, which, as we already mentioned in our Art Basel To Do List, will open on Wednesday, a day before Art Basel Miami Beach proper.
“This title was in the mood of the moment,” Ms. Rubell told me in a recent interview. Her husband added: “Although we usually use ‘exuberance’ in a very positive, upbeat manner, the word has to do, more than anything, with forms of excess behavior, and I think this show is a reflection of that.”